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Jaegerfest 2007! July 31, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in music.

So I sez to Ultimate Spawn, “I’m goin’ to Jaegerfest this weekend, so you’ll have to fix yer own damn breakfast!” And she says to me, “Dad, yer gonna get so. friggin. wasted!”

…And I thought, hyuh, whatever! Then I realized she must think I was going to a Jaegermeister party. Which is a hoot, on accounta I’m so Not There!

Anyway, Fred and Leah Jaeger throw this bash every July at their home in Eastern New York


and it’s perfect for jamming in the garage ’till 3am


With real hippies and everything! So I crashed about midnight, shortly after a Mysterious Bottle of Questionable Pedigree made the rounds. Rumor has it the party went on without me. Damn!

But the real reason I go to this bash is to connect with my college buddy Mark, a life-long Montrealer and as good a human being as exists (don’t tell him I said that! 😆 ) We’ve had a lifetime of shared adventures that will fill a book (some day ;)) and we try to keep in touch.

So anyway, The Youth outlasted us by several hours, the band played on, and I slept like a goddam log.

Next morning, I had the privilege of waking Francois from his slumbers:


so we could go climbing. Well, so they could go climbing; my shoulders weren’t cooperating. Luckily Mark was there to represent, in all his Half-Century-Old Glory:


Pull Hard, Ya Bastard! Not bad for an Old Fart.

Seriously, all joking aside, I have to say that I love that man. Not only have we shared some great adventures as younger men, but more importantly, he’s taken care to keep in touch despite the intervening miles and the family obligations. That’s not something I’m naturally inclined towards, and I can’t thank him enough for his efforts to stay connected.

Thanks, Bud. See you next sumer!

Supporting Our Troops July 28, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: , ,

Yesterday on WAMC Public Radio I heard NY Congressman Joe Courtney describing a recent meeting with a young man in his office. The young man was a Marine who had spent two years, seven months out of the last four years in Iraq. In one trembling hand he held the orders for his fourth deployment; in the other, a bag containing the various medications he was taking to try to get control of his depression, insomnia, nightmares and anxiety.

He was pleading for the Congressman’s help.

This brought to mind recent radio reports about another young man, this one from my boyhood hometown. He was a twenty-three year old Marine who had returned from his first deployment in Iraq a “changed man,” as his family put it; he was drinking heavily, waking up screaming in the night and talking about suicide. His parents got him to our local VA hospital, where he was observed for a couple of days, then released. When his condition worsened his parents brought him back to the hospital, but he was turned away, apparently on the grounds that they woudn’t help him until he took care of his drinking problem.

Three weeks later his father found him hanging from the water pipes in the basement of the family home.

Can you even begin to imagine how that felt? To have your only son taken away, ravaged by his experience of the horrors of this unjust war, denied help from the government which had promised him the moon when he enlisted, and then to find your child hanging lifeless in your cellar, his distorted face streaked with tears, his young body still reeking from the booze he had drunk to summon this final act of courage?

I can’t, though the feeling that I must try to appreciate the pain of that loss has caused me to put an hour of typing and crying into this post so far.

The Official Government Rhetoric about “supporting our troops” is hollow and disingenuous on so many levels that I can barely contain my rage. The so-called “Troop Surge” is resulting in longer deployments, less time at home, and spiraling devastation among our young men and women in the Middle East. It’s also resulting in the attrition of experienced soldiers from the military, just as it did in Viet Nam, but then the maximum time spent “in country” was twelve months of a four-year enlistment. And many of us recall the damage which even that twelve months wrought on so many of our soldiers; I have friends who are still struggling forty years later.

This “surge,” this entire fucking war is such a monstrous betrayal of trust, such an unprecedented abrogation of responsibility on the part of the Current Administration, and yes, on the part of the American People, that no response by US other than IMPEACHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT can vindicate our claims to being a moral and righteous people living in a legitimate democracy.

We know what must be done. The time is now.

Namaste. July 26, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: ,

After the madness of the day’s political news, but before my head exploded, I did my usual disappearing act: a short ride out into the country, a short hike into the woods, a tranquil place to ask Mother Earth for Strength, Forgiveness and a Peaceful Heart.


Today’s peace and tranquility brought to you by the Cold River.


Nice Day For The River! July 26, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
Tags: , ,

Some folks enjoying a float trip on the Deerfield River:


They put to shore here for lunch and promptly sat themselves down in a gloriously lush poison ivy patch (yes, I told them.)

They complained about the lack of wildflowers.


I think they were from the city. 😉

Today’s Catch July 24, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
Tags: ,

Hit the back yard after work today, just as a gentle rain started. Picked a bunch of black raspberries:


I’ll bring home some vanilla ice cream tomorrow for movie-time with Spawn O’ My Loins 😉

Also got my first real harvest out of my garden:


Rainbow chard, cukes, ‘maters, basil, summer squash, red onions, Hungarian wax and Italian hot peppers, peas, and a butt-load of purslane, which I stir-fried with sesame oil, green onions, Hungarian yellows, a nice fat ramp and some tamari:


‘Twas guuuuuuuud!

Green River Festival, 2007! July 22, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in music.

So this weekend was our great local outdoor concert and hot-air balloon festival. Saturday was the Big Day, with about as much hot air as you’ll find outside the Beltway and skads of great music!

Here’s the main stage (there were two, for non-stop dancing:


That’s Niko Case and her band, who put on a great show.

Rani Arbo fiddled and sang her heart out with her band Daisy Mayhem:


Everything excellent in that set – if you’re not yet a fan, think “Allison Krause”, with gorgeous vocal harmonies and some real fine musicianship.

Then Erin McKeown wowed ’em with her inimitable style


…though I hate to admit that I prefer the quirky production values of her recorded stuff to the straight-ahead show she did here.

Next up, British Soul Man Extraordinaire James Hunter, doing a very creditable job of channeling the Late Great James Brown.


KILLER horn section there, James!

Then we were treated to a Mardi Gras Parade (don’t ask) of children in masks they had just made in a “workshop” that afternoon, interspersed with some really cool ‘Gras-style characters powered by hidden chillunz:


…all led by Primate Fiasco, a cool, eccentric young group of horn players who in this case were layin’ down a great version of When The Saints Come Marching In.

Next up were my personal faves, Southern Culture On The Skids!!! HYAWWWWWWWW!


For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, think of them as “Surfabilly.” On steroids. With beaucoups talent. And fried chicken!

Then came the big balloon launch, with dozens of these magical beasties soaring off into the sunset (well, they actually were last seen heading southeast):


Very cool indeed, with a fluffy blue sky, a gentle breeze, and beautiful women everywhere one looked. OK, ya caught me lookin’ 😉

The climax of the night was a great set by





Gawd Damn that man can play! And his BAND kicked ass too! Gotta love it when a fossil has the juice to keep up with the guys half his age, non?

All in all an excellent day in the sun, complete with margaritas on ice in a Camelback in my pack! Keeps the kidneys cool, the whistle whet 😉 and the mojo flowin’! I’m not a dancer, but on this beautiful day I just had. no. choice! 😆

Mother Nature Loves Me! July 22, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Dinner with TCR.

She does, she told me so, by turning the dirt in my back yard into beautiful, delicious food!!!


…like these beautiful organic tomatoes and basil, as well as the red onions, hot peppers, cukes and cilantro which are all tummy-bound!

Thank you, Mother Earth.

Thank you, Father Sky.

Thank you, Honey Bee.

(…fades off into distance doing a little gazpacho dance…)

Happy Birthday (Plus One)… July 22, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: , ,

…to Phydeaux over at Phydeau Speaks. This comes a day late, as I got in “last night” at around, oh, today.

Anyway, P-Dawg is hovering in the fractionally undifferentiated vicinitude of 7-1/2 (dog years, that is.) I’m right behind you, Big Guy – September has my cross to bear 😉

I’d like to take this opportunity to say just a couple of serious words, without my usual snark or attempts at humor.

I’m pretty disgusted with how the world is turning these days and with the part our government plays in supporting the Corporate Conquest of Everything. A few months back I stumbled onto the Blogosphere via Blue Gal, who introduced me to Melissa at Shakesville, who’s frequent visitors included Phydeaux, whose friends DCup and Teh Portly Dyke caught my eye…

See how that works? Suddenly I find myself surrounded by the lucid voices of intelligent, concerned people who think with a clarity to which I can only aspire, expressing themselves with an eloquence which humbles me. It’s made my world a better place and given me real hope that things can be turned around, because dammit, We The People really are out there!

Thank you all for being there, for being my reason for hope and trust and optimism.

And thanks, Phydeaux, for being such an important link in that chain.

It’s The Simple Pleasures Which Make Life Worth Living July 21, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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…Like thinking about Dubbya The Clown drinking his gallon of chalkey elixer tonight in preparation for his Rovectomy in the morn’.

Tip o’ the chapeau to Frau Biergut for that savory visual.

We won’t discuss pResident Cheney until that nightmare has passed. Though one has to wonder what Machiavellian machinations will transpire while The Idiot Prince sleeps.

A Man, A Plan, A Canal… July 19, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in climbing.

…So there was this rock I wanted to climb, but it was really, really wet at its base, with a little bit of standing water and a LOT of mud.


Plus it had a big old rotted log across its front, apparently the iron-hard heartwood of a very large fallen maple tree.

So I brought my chain saw out there last week, cut the log into five large pieces (about three hundred pounds each) and chucked it / rolled it away from the boulder. Then I cleaned out under the boulder, dug a small drainage ditch, lined it with rocks and went looking for larger stones to roof over my little canal.

I found a perfect slab of gneiss, two inches thick by four feet long and twenty inches wide. I wished it was a foot or two longer, but hey, it was a good start, and after half an hour of lugging the thing through the woods to my work-site, I was pleased that it fit so nicely!

Another half-hour search produced another flat rock, not as nice as the first, but it was getting late, so I grabbed it and hucked it into place, and my canal was finished.


Then I went up on top of the boulders to admire my handy-work, and…Holy Cow!


It’s a miracle! A Giant Penis sighting in the woods of Monroe! Quick, take a picture, the guys down at the bar will never believe this!

So I took a picture and I’ll let YOU decide: Is that a friggin’ miracle, or what????